Letterman makes like Rodney Dangerfield and goes "Back to School."
April 4, 2001 5:51 AM   Subscribe

Letterman makes like Rodney Dangerfield and goes "Back to School." David Letterman will be a special guest speaker in the journalism class that Al Gore is teaching. On a side note, does anyone else find it ironic that a class on journalism is being taught "off the record"?
posted by JFunk2800 (13 comments total)
I am pretty sure I read that "off the record" means that no reporters are allowed in the class, but that students are free to speak with reporters about what is said and done in class.
posted by terrapin at 7:33 AM on April 4, 2001

Top 10 academic lectures Dave Letterman is scheduled to deliver to Gore's students:
    • No. 10 - Quantum physics - Everything I learned at Ball State University (early release day).
    • No. 9 - How to excite helium atoms -- put 'em next to a topless Drew Barrymore!
    • No. 8 - Jay Leno: Talk-Show Host or Antichrist?
    • No. 7 - The lying weasel: an anthropological journey through its native habitat.
    • No. 6 - Ancient History: Greco-Roman Talk Show hosts and their relationship to the Augustan Caesars.
    • No. 5 - U.S./Canada relations: If I can put up with Paul, the U.S. can deal with those rangy Canooks!
    • No. 4 - I'm lecturing today on the Doppler Shift -- and I'm not wearing pants!
    • No. 3 - The Mideast Peace Process: If I can bring Sonny & Cher back together, why can't we do the same with Israel & Egypt?
    • No. 2 - Using Einstein's theories on the speed of light to get past Connecticut State Troopers.
    • and the number one lecture topic for David Letterman:
    • Three words: Veni, Vidi Melman!
Band Music: "Teacher's Pet"
posted by darren at 8:06 AM on April 4, 2001

I become a little more ashamed of my alma mater every blessed day.
posted by Dreama at 8:09 AM on April 4, 2001

Students have been asked not to speak to the media. Despite the snickers, off-the-record conversations can be essential to good reportage, particularly when using highly-placed sources.
posted by dhartung at 8:30 AM on April 4, 2001

Columbia sold out to Bush, just like the University of Chicago sold out to Oprah. I wanted to go to j-school at Columbia. Now I'm glad I didn't make it.
posted by darren at 9:07 AM on April 4, 2001

Forget the irony of having a j-school class "off the record," what about the irony of having Letterman speak about journalism?
posted by kindall at 10:20 AM on April 4, 2001

Columbia sold out to Bush? By having Gore teach a journalism class?

Two students, btw, have repeatedly appeared on Fox News' Hannity and Colmes show to dish on Gore's class. So much for off the record.
posted by Dreama at 11:23 AM on April 4, 2001

...there's some hard-hitting news for ya....
posted by jpoulos at 11:40 AM on April 4, 2001

> what about the irony of having Letterman speak about journalism?

What irony? Letterman was involved with journalism/telecommunications at Ball State. I see no problem with him going back to school and talking with current j-school students. However, Columbia doesn't have a David Letterman Scholarship.
posted by gluechunk at 12:19 PM on April 4, 2001

Letterman asked harder questions of Bush than any ones I heard during the debates. Don't know why, since he never struck me as caring one way or the other about politics. Read once that staffers consider him (Letterman, that is) likely to be a "non-voting Eisenhower Republican." Maybe he grew tired of hearing lousy, softball questions on regular shows, or hearing other media attack him and Leno, etc. go off about "politics as entertainment" blah blah. Like it's not presented as entertainment by regular media.
posted by raysmj at 1:53 PM on April 4, 2001

Gore also teaches a class at my university. He teaches a "community building" class. The reactions to his presence on campus has been varied. The first day he taught, there were protesters marching and shouting "Al Gore is a whore."
But unlike Columbia, my school will see no signs of Letterman.
And unlike Dreama, Gore's participation at my unknown, Tennessee state school is a step up for my soon-to-be alma mater.
posted by brittney at 4:04 PM on April 4, 2001

It has the Center for Popular Music, though, doesn't it? Seen it cited in a lot of music histories.
posted by raysmj at 5:38 PM on April 4, 2001

From this morning's Washington Post:

Yesterday Al Gore recruited David Letterman to help teach his Columbia University journalism class. After the ex-veep's rambling lecture, CBS's late-night comic noted: "Driving up here I was nervous about doing this, but they told me, 'Don't worry. Al will do all the talking.' And so far, he has." Gore: "When I was on your show the last time . . ." Letterman, interrupting: "Believe me, it was the last time!" When Gore started drawing a complicated diagram on the blackboard, Letterman ostentatiously rolled his eyes. Gore kept referring to a phenomenon of pack journalism he dubbed "the meta-narrative." Gore explained: "The meta-narrative is that Gore is stiff, Bush mangles his words and Clinton eats cheeseburgers." Letterman demanded: "Am I the only one here who has never heard of the word 'meta-narrative'?"
posted by darren at 5:54 AM on April 5, 2001

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